Many people in the Erie area don’t drive, which means they rely on the sidewalks to get where they’re going, even during the snowy months.
Certified Mobility Specialist Freda Tepfer says, “Not everybody clears their sidewalk but some of us do, we have to be able to get around, but then you come across a wall like that…”
This time of year can be especially difficult for those with mobility issues, and when sidewalks aren’t cleared, getting to where you need to be can be dangerous or even near-impossible.
Tepfer is troubled by what she says is irresponsible behavior on the part of plow truck drivers who clear business parking lots. “Maybe the snow in the street will melt in a few days, but that pile is going to take a long time to melt.”
It doesn’t take long to spot one of these mounds blocking a sidewalk. There were many within a few blocks of each other, but the issue isn’t unique to the city.
At McKean Elementary, parents are also concerned about dangerous sidewalk conditions. They say it’s a recurring issue.
Parent James Beyrer says, “…The sidewalks are not being plowed or salted for the kids. I’ve seen kids slip and fall. My son slipped the other day.”
They say they would even be willing to help the school clear the sidewalks so their kids could safely make their way into the school.
“I would like to see if they need help from the parents to keep the sidewalks done, to just let us know, send out a letter, we’ll volunteer as we have to.”
Either way, these residents hope something is done to address the dangerous conditions pedestrians are facing in these situations.
Tepfer says, “Especially if you’re a visually impaired person, you need to maintain a straight line of travel so you can keep track of where you are when you cross the street.”
Parent Tracy Bolla tells us, “We’re not asking for much. They have to come to school… If they slip and fall and hurt themselves, are they going to pay for the medical bills?”